Women Can’t Do That

Recently, I visited cnn.com to be greeted by the top, front page, shocking story, “Woman Named Football Coach”! Just to alleviate any confusion, this wasn’t a story about a woman who was given the first name “Football” and the last name “Coach.” No, this was a ground-breaking story of apparently the first woman in history ever to have coached a high school boys football team. They weren’t talking about a pro-football team, or even a college team, but a high school team, which strikes me as something that should have been big news in 1959. But in 2010? Really?

This got me wondering how many other jobs out there are still ripe, in 2010, for a person to be the first woman to have.

The first thing that comes to mind is the almost complete lack of female game show hosts. I’m not saying that Game Show Host is something that anyone with much self respect would aspire to. But, there are certainly a lot of popular female celebrities, so why have so few of them hosted a game show?

President of the United States. OK, that one seems fairly obvious, but think about it: 44 presidents in a country with over 50% women and all have been men. Years ago, I was traveling across the country, when Geraldine Ferraro was running for vice president. I came across a woman in Tennessee who told me that a woman could never be President because she might get her period during an emergency. And there you have it.

UN Secretary General. Not only have all of them been men, but I believe that all people ever nominated to the post have been men.

Late night TV comedic talk show writers are, and have always been, to my knowledge, all men. It’s a very strange club to be all male. Do they think that women can’t write bad talk show jokes? Didn’t Sally Rodgers on the Dick Van Dyke Show prove that women could write satire for TV? Oh yeah, I forgot – she was a fictitious character who’s lines were written by 12 men.

In a list of 208 of the world’s top orchestra conductors, guess how many are women? If you guessed 2, you are right! Fewer than 1% are women. Is there something inherently male about conducting an orchestra?

Let’s think about what we’ve learned here today. There are some jobs in the 21st century that are held almost exclusively by men. The examples I’ve listed are: president, UN secretary general, orchestral conductor, game show host, football coach, and late night talk show writer. What else do all of these jobs have in common? OK, the talk show writer one is a little strange, but the others all involve people in being in charge. Is this a role that, by and large, both men and women can’t picture women in? I say “both men and women,” because some of these positions are hired by women or groups of women and men.

So, next time you are choosing the next Secretary General of the UN, or the coach of a high school football team, I hope that you question whether your decision is affected by a subconscious belief that men are supposed to run things. When we choose people by gender, we are disqualifying half the population from jobs that they may have something very special to contribute to.

The old term “Women” will now be replaced with “People of Gender.” Click this Flower of Color to find out more:

15 Responses to Women Can’t Do That

  1. Jeffersonic. (DSK) says:

    I’ve met women who were electricians, carpenters, mechanics and steelworkers. While I believe I’ve always maintained an equal footing with women I’ve been involved with, disregarding any strictly biological functionalities; (I believe men are generally ‘target oriented’, and women work to build a 360º secure surrounding environment), I feel I might be exhibiting a subtle, mild sexism when I get so turned on at tough competent women performing excellently at a traditionally male occupation. Ha!


  2. Jeffersonic. (DSK) says:

    Maybe not, I don’t know, I can’t decide.


    • EricIndiana says:

      You are questioning yourself. That’s good, but I thought I’d intervene before you start a fight with yourself. These things can escalate pretty fast.

      I’m betting you watched that scene from Flashdance at an impressionable age – the one where Jennifer Beals is doing construction work in a hard hat & then takes of the hat & shakes out her hair in slow motion, revealing her womanliness.


  3. Jeffersonic. (DSK) says:

    No suh, but I shall seek it out. I think I’ll pick up a couple of romance novels, too. I could use a bit more of this “revealing her womanliness”.


  4. […] Women Can’t Do That […]


  5. Doreen Van Assen says:

    My thumbs go up to anybody male/female whom would consider these professions. Very hard to accomplish. A female could do any of those jobs. Females in general seem to be very multitask. I think a female given the chance could orchestrate while peacekeeping while writing a talk show while coaching a team. My profession as nurse which used to be all female way back. involves being care giver, teacher, advocate, manager, collaborator, colleague, expert […The future is not the result of choices among Alternative paths offered; It is a place that is created, Created first in the mind and will, Created next in activity. The future is not some place we are going to, But one we are creating. The paths to it are not found, but made. And the activity of making them Changes both the maker and the destiny. -Anonymous, 1987…] Now there are beaucoo male nurses. Doing a fantastic job. 🙂


  6. Doreen Van Assen says:

    I think creative free writing class would be great for middle school children everywhere. I was very fortunate to like english and took that course in Junior high. This was at Sheridan Middle School; Sheridan, Arkansas in the 1980s. Does any school even offer this class to students anymore?


  7. Doreen Van Assen says:

    of course they could call it creative free texting. Teenage girls would luv it. My mom actually used to try to keep up with my daughters texting. sent off for entire bill 40,000 text in half a month bill shipped in box.


  8. Doreen Van Assen says:

    Could hollywood create a movie of a futuristic school? With this class? And other classes as well like The unknown phenomenon class where the students pick what bizarre thing they want to learn about for that month. Kinda like the far out questions my son ask me all the time. With the students in the end solving world peace or economic stability. Make it comedy, drama, and action.


    • EricIndiana says:

      I think the best classes are ones that are driven by the interests of the kids, so that would be a great idea for a class.


    • Doreen Van Assen says:

      another class could be called factor label class. This one concept solves thousands of chemistry problems. Why not teach it as a class and children learn it so well they create/invent new molecular combinations, I learned this method somewhat in 10th grade chemistry class Watson Chapel High School, Pine bluff, Arkansas in the 1980s. Every chapter in the chemistry book was able to be solved using this method. In 2006, it was my mandatory way to solve dosing calculations in nursing school.


  9. Doreen Van Assen says:

    Use the kid language of course. Words like at urbandictionary.com


  10. reader says:

    Just a note: Joan Rivers was permanent guest host for Johnny Carson in the 80s and then had her own late night talk show on Fox for a year or so in the 80s. The Daily SHow, while not a traditional talk show, was created by women, and has had a couple noted women writers, including Samantha Bee who once took over the host position to protest the lack of a female host and the male centric viewpoint.


  11. […] In a list of 208 of the world’s top orchestra conductors, guess how many are women? If you guessed 2, you are right! Fewer than 1% are women. Is there something inherently male about conducting an orchestra? READ FULL POST […]


  12. […] Jobs Women Can’t Have Share this:Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: